I think this series would’ve benefited from taking the first half of this episode, splicing it up, and spreading it out through its earlier parts. Seeing some events unfold from Kakeru’s perspective would’ve helped me become more invested in his character, which is something I’ve been struggling to be able to do.
The first half of this episode does something different from what we’ve seen so far and covers Kakeru’s life as it took place in the future timeline. We get to see his life from shortly before he makes the move from Tokyo with his mother, up until the moment of his death. In between these two points, we see many of the same events as they happened in that timeline (and as they were described in the letters).
Throughout all of this, we get to see these events unfold through Kakeru’s eyes, and experience them from his perspective. This is really what lends weight to this part of the episode. We’re finally able to delve beneath the surface of Kakeru’s character, and to get inside his head through something other than a flash of emotion.
The rest of the episode can be split into two main parts:
One takes place in the future, and features a very unnecessary and unfortunate explanation of how the letters were sent to the past (which I’ll elaborate on in the comments section below).
The other part takes place in the present, and shows Naho trying her best to return her relationship with Kakeru back to how it was before they had their fight. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out, and the frustration, guilt, and sadness of it all brings Naho to tears.
Kakeru, for his part, doesn’t appear to be refusing Naho’s attempts out of spite though. I think the inner monologue he had during their fight in the first half of the episode rings true for this timeline as well. Kakeru wants to keep Naho at a distance so he can avoid hurting her.
In this week’s episode, Orange took a shot at explaining the mechanics behind how the letters from the future were able to travel to the past. I think it was a very bad choice. I’m not going to delve into how ridiculous I think the explanation itself was, but rather, I want to comment on how I feel about the explanation’s place in the story.
It’s not uncommon for a story to have some mysterious aspect to it simply because the creator has no idea how to explain it. This usually becomes a weak point for the story, and trying to fill it in is not an unreasonable move. However, this can also be a risky move if the creator is only capable of providing a sub-par explanation. This only serves to exacerbate the story’s weakness, and creates a situation where the story would be better off without any explanation at all.
Orange is not a sci-fi story. The mechanics of how the letters traveled back in time is of no significant importance. The how of it is not what this story is about, so why even bother trying to explain it? As much of a stretch as the setup of Orange is, I can accept it as part of the story. Rather than shooting yourself in the foot, or digging yourself into a deeper hole (or any other expression you prefer), this series would’ve of been better off leaving this whole aspect a mystery.
I think this might be a first for my Orange reviews, but I want to write a little on my thoughts for the next episode.
Next week’s will be the final episode for this season, and likely the conclusion of the series. Time-wise, I think it will cover Valentine’s Day, and then up to around the day Kakeru committed suicide in the future timeline. Plot-wise, I’m no longer sure which way the story will go.
From the beginning of the series, I had a hunch that Naho and her friends would be able to pull through and prevent Kakeru’s death, however, the last few episodes have shaken this. I wouldn’t be surprised either way it goes. Part of me, though, would like to see the sadder outcome as I think it’ll make for a stronger ending and better story overall.
How about everyone else? Without giving away any spoilers for the ending, how do you think this will end? How do you hope it’ll end? And which outcome do you think would be better for the story?
I’d be surprised if anybody’s answers align for all three of these questions, but let us know what you think in the comments below.
TV animation orange
Currently Airing. Started on July 3, 2016